Saturday, July 13, 2024

News and Ideas Worth Sharing

Bits & Bytes: ‘Outspoken’ at Hotchkiss; ‘Southern Berkshires Though Time’ at Mason Library; free tax prep at senior center; Crystal Products of the Frost King’; fuel assistance concert

On Saturday, Jan. 12, The Mason Library will host a PowerPoint presentation and talk by local historian and Edge contributor Gary Leveille about his new book 'Southern Berkshires Through Time.'

‘Outspoken’ women photographers to participate in Hotchkiss School panel

Lakeville, Conn. — The Tremaine Art Gallery at the Hotchkiss School will host an artist panel discussion Thursday, Jan. 10, at 7 p.m. with photographers from the exhibit “Outspoken: Seven Women Photographers.” The exhibit is on view through Sunday, Jan. 13, and features the work of Nadine Boughton, Blake Fitch, Nancy Grace Horton, Marky Kauffmann, Tira Khan, Rania Matar and Emily Schiffer. Participating in the panel will be Boughton, Fitch, Horton, Kauffmann and Schiffer.

The award-winning photographers gathered for the exhibit depict a range of cultural experiences, ages and settings in their portrayals of the lives of women and girls from early childhood to advanced age, from refugee camps to backyard clotheslines, all with the aim to amplify the voices of women and girls. Said exhibit curator Kauffmann: “The images in this show ask the viewer to question assumptions about what is fair, right or possible for women and girls. What do girls get to do or be before the cultural onslaught inevitably comes? If growing up is in part about gaining power over our lives, then what do girls gain or lose as they navigate the hurdles with which they are confronted? What happens to the search for identity in a patriarchal world? As a female, do I dare stand out, shout out, be outspoken?”

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact the Hotchkiss School at (860) 435-4423.


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Leveille to discuss new book ‘Southern Berkshires Through Time’

Great Barrington — The Mason Library will host a PowerPoint presentation and talk by local historian and Edge contributor Gary Leveille about his new book “Southern Berkshires Through Time” Saturday, Jan. 12, at 1 p.m.

Much has changed in the Southern Berkshires over the 150-year period covered photographically in Leveille’s new book. The beauty of the area has drawn photographers since the invention of the camera. Vibrant villages have evolved over the decades, once-thriving textile mills have been replaced by innovative tech enterprises, and the paper industry has struggled and survived. The narratives included in the book offer a glimpse of Southern Berkshire connections past and present.

Leveille is a writer, editor, educator, photographer, columnist, humorist and historian living in the Southern Berkshires. He has worked on projects for Milton Bradley, Hasbro, Parker Brothers, Disney, National Geographic and others. He is the author of several books including the best-selling “Old Route 7: Along the Berkshire Highway: and “Legendary Locals of the Southern Berkshires.”

The event is free and open to the public. Copies of the book will be available for purchase. Proceeds from the sale of the book will benefit the library. For more information, contact the Mason Library at (413) 528-2403.


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Claire Teague Senior Center to host tax prep sessions

Great Barrington — The Claire Teague Senior Center will host tax preparation sessions as part of the AARP Foundation Tax-Aide program on Tuesdays from 4 to 7 p.m. and Wednesdays from 8:45 a.m. to 2 p.m. beginning in February and continuing through Wednesday, April 10.  The service is available to all middle- and low-income taxpayers with special attention on those aged 60 and older. Volunteers trained in cooperation with the IRS will assist in filing returns, either on paper or electronically. Taxpayers do not need to be members of AARP or retirees to use this service.

An online list of required documentation is available. Anyone interested in using the service must call the senior center at (413) 528-1881 to make an appointment.


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‘Crystal Products of the Frost King’ to highlight ice harvesting in New England

Dennis Picard discussing the history of ice harvesting in New England. Photo courtesy Ventfort Hall

Lenox — A museum professional, historian and author Dennis Picard will give a presentation titled “Crystal Products of the Frost King: Ice Harvesting in New England” Saturday, Jan. 12, at 3:30 p.m. at Ventfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum. Picard’s talk will be followed by a Victorian tea.

The commercial harvesting and export of ice from New England’s frozen lakes and ponds began in the first decade of the 19th century. By the end of the century, ice harvesting was the ninth largest industry in the U.S., employing tens of thousands of workers in New England alone and producing hundreds of thousands of tons of block ice annually. Picard has been demonstrating the ice harvesting trade for more than 20 years at museums and environmental education centers. During his presentation, he will display some of his antique tools of the trade, and invite audience members to try their hands with such implements as a “pond saw” and the breaker bar.

Picard has been a museum professional in the living history field for 40 years.  He began his career at Old Sturbridge Village in 1978, where he filled various positions including lead interpreter, researching and designing many public programs that are still offered today. He has held the position of assistant director and director at the Sheffield Historical Society and Storrowton Village Museum. He also served on the staff of Hancock Shaker Village as a historic trade craftsman and site interpreter. He has authored many articles on the lifestyles and folkways of New England and is also on the board of directors of the Pioneer Valley History Network.

Tickets are $26 in advance and $32 the day of the event. Reservations are highly recommended as seating is limited. For reservations or more information, contact Ventfort Hall at (413) 637-3206.


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The Messengers, Gospel Gang to hold fuel assistance benefit concert

Dalton — On Sunday, Jan. 13, at 4 p.m. at the First Congregational Church of Dalton, The Sundays @ 4 Concert Series will present the contemporary Christian choir the Gospel Gang and the gospel trio the Messengers in “Winter Gospel,” a concert to benefit the emergency fuel fund of the Pittsfield Area Council of Congregations and the emergency assistance fuel fund of Construct in Great Barrington.

“Winter Gospel” marks the ninth annual concert series the groups have presented for the benefit of the emergency fuel funds. The events have raised over $35,000 to date. The emergency fuel fund is administered through Pittsfield’s Salvation Army. Construct assists 40 households on average each winter season with 100 gallons of heating fuel, reaching families in crisis in the 15 villages and towns in the southern Berkshire region.

The Gospel Gang includes more than 20 singers and a full instrumental band and, along with the Messengers, offers an assortment of contemporary Christian music styles including Southern Gospel, country, blues and urban.

Tickets are $7 for adults, $20 for families of four to six people, and free for children under the age of 12 when accompanied by a paying adult. A meet-and-greet reception will follow the concert. For more information, call (413) 684-1715.



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